Reuters European shares fell on Monday in their worst session in almost two months as the rapid spread of a new strain of the coronavirus forced more stringent curbs in Britain and travel bans from several countries.
Broadbased losses pushed the panEuropean STOXX 600 index down 2.3, its lowest close since midNovember, after the UK imposed an effective lockdown and reversed plans to ease curbs over Christmas as the new strain is up to 70 more transmissible than the original.
A long list of countries from around the world closed their borders to Britain, with European neighbour Frances ban also including freight carriers.
A plunge in the pound limited losses in Londons FTSE to 1.7, while main indexes in Germany, France, Spain and Italy all dived close to 3. Spains IBEX posted its worst day in sixmonths.
Markets are reeling from the latest twist in the coronavirus crisis which has clouded the outlook for the remainder of 2020 and much of the first quarter of 2021, said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.
Restrictions on traffic between the UK and other countries, including in the case of France on freight, has raised the pressure on a supply chain already creaking under the weight of an online Christmas and Brexit uncertainty.
Travel and leisure stocks had their worst day in three months, with British Airways owner IAG, Trainline and travel company TUI down between 1 and 10.5. Cruise operator Carnival Corp shed 5.6.
As crude oil prices slid, energy companies…